Posted by on June 08, 2011 in Blog
While the nature of the scandal in which Anthony Weiner now finds himself was not predictable, that he would eventually get himself into trouble was virtually inevitable. As an article published in Salon yesterday noted, Weiner employed anonymous and racially charged leaflets to catapult himself ahead of his more established opponents to win the primary on the road to becoming a Member of Congress. He admitted his responsibility for the leaflets only after he secured the win and the results were out.
My one and only encounter with Anthony Weiner came when we debated on CNN's Crossfire. Wiener was a new Member of Congress, a bit wet behind the ears, but still brash and glib. Israel had just bombed a home in Gaza, missing their intended target, and killing 15 family members in the process. When asked, I made the point that it was terrorism, plain and simple -- no different than strapping a bomb to oneself and going into the marketplace to kill innocents. Complaining that Israel "didn’t intend to kill civilians" (even though it was bombing a heavily populated neighborhood) or that it was "just collateral damage" was disingenuous, at best.
When his turn came, Weiner began with "Sometimes we have to do things like this...". I gasped and said "you are a US Congressman, what do you mean by 'we'?" The hosts picked up on this and poor Anthony got knocked around a bit.
Unlike indefensible comments on Israel/Palestine (which, unfortunately, are not uncommon among US Members of Congress), the release of several lewd photos that Weiner had sent of himself to random women he met online is the sort of scandal that will get sustained media attention and generate bigger pressures. Just today, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee called on Weiner to resign, citing the loss of “the respect of [his] constituents” due to his “offensive behavior.” Whether Weiner will manage to extricate himself from this and survive politically remains to be seen.